Why is PPE required in the Workplace?
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Why is the PPE Workplace Important?
The value of PPE in the workplace should never be overlooked. We need to learn what it is to understand how important it is. The concept of personal protective equipment (AKA: PPE) is all safety equipment pieces that shield the wearer from possible occupational health and safety hazards. For most industries like construction, agriculture, and engineering, it is legally required. Based on the working conditions of the worker, the protective equipment required by law can vary.
Why is wearing PPE in the workplace important?
It is vital that we keep the workplace as safe as possible, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Instructions and protocols should be in place, and appropriate training and supervision should be given to employees. But even after the introduction of these safety systems, there may still be some risks.
The dangers of not using safety equipment in the workplace: injuries to:
- Lungs- from breathing contaminated air.
- Head and feet- from falling items.
- Eyes- from debris and waste in the air.
- Skin- from contact with corrosive substances.
- Body- from extreme heat or cold.
The PPE is the last level of workplace protection. The protective equipment will create a final barrier between the staff and the threats they face on a daily basis.It is critical that you carefully choose the protection and protective wear to protect your workers from different hazards.
Therefore, educate the staff to properly use their personal protective equipment and teach them how to detect and report any faults.
What are the Different Types of PPE and their Uses?
Eye and Face Protection
The minimum types of PPE necessary for physical and chemical hazards are listed below:
- Safety glasses, as a minimum, are required where there is a potential of eyes being struck by projectile objects. Side shields are required if there is a hazard from flying objects from the side.
- Direct vented goggles (those with perforated holes on the sides) are an acceptable substitute for safety glasses with side shields.
- Chemical splash goggles (those with indirect ventilation on sides) are required where protection is needed against chemical splashes or sprays. These may also be used where impact protection is required.
- Face shields are required where facial skin protection is needed. They can only be used in conjunction with eye protection. The face shield is not a substitute for the safety glasses or goggles.
- Shaded eye/face protection is required for radiant energy sources from arc and gas welding, soldering and brazing, laser, ultraviolet, and infrared
Work gloves are worn to cover and protect hands and wrists from potential hazards in work sites, domestics and consumer environments.
Constructed from various materials and embedded with protective qualities, safety gloves are designed to prevent serious injuries such as cuts, splinters and burns. The range of gloves is now so expansive it’s safe to say that there will always be a glove to meet your requirement.
Also used to provide day to day comfort and cushioning as you handle rough or heavy materials, gloves can improve grip on hand held equipment to ensure reliable and smooth work.
Hard hats should be used to protect workers from falling debrief in the worksite environments:
- persons or operations where accidental dropping or loss of material, tools, equipment or other articles could lead to a head injury;
- a barricaded or posted demolition or construction area where head hazards exist;
- objects stored on shelves, platforms, etc. that may fall and cause head injury; or
- overhead exposed energized conductors nearby.
Types and Classes
- Type 1 - Helmets intended to reduce the force of impact resulting in a blow only to the top of the head.
- Type 2 - Helmets intended to reduce the force of impact resulting in a blow to the top and the side of the head
- Class E (Formerly Class B): Helmets for sue where electrical hazards are present (in utility services) that are non-conducting and intended to protect against falling objects and reduce the danger of exposure to high voltage electrical shocks and burns. Offers the highest protection with high-voltage shock and burn protection up to 20,000 volts.
- Class G (Formerly Class A): General Use (limited voltage - non-conducting) intended to protect against falling objects and reduce the danger of exposure to low voltage electrical conductors. They provide impact and penetration resistance and protection from up to 2,200 volts.
- Class (Formerly Class C): Class C Hard Hats are not tested for electrical resistance. They are designed for lightweight comfort and impact protection and are not intended to provide protection from electrical conductors.
High-visibility clothing, sometimes known as "hi-viz", is any clothing worn that has highly reflective properties or a colour that is easily discernible from any background. Most industrial employers require it as a type of personal protective equipment (PPE). Yellow waistcoats worn by emergency services are a common example. Occupational wearers of clothing with high-visibility features include railway and highway workers, airport workers, or other places where workers are near moving vehicles or in dark areas. Some cyclists wear high-visibility clothing when riding amongst motor vehicles. Hunters may be required to wear designated high-visibility clothing to prevent accidental shooting.
Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is a specific type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it is used to protect the worker wearing against the inhalation of hazardous substances in the workplace air.
RPE should only be used where acceptable levels of exposure cannot be achieved by other means, in other words, as a last resort within the hierarchy of control measures: Elimination, Substitution, Engineering Controls, Administrative Controls, PPE.
Safety shoes are used for all manner of jobs that require foot protection. From kitchens to construction, warehousing and factory work, safety boots or shoes might be required. However different safety footwear is made to suit different conditions. All safety shoes are graded for compliancy to a certain criteria, depending on the type of conditions they’re created for. Most safety footwear can be identified easily with specific symbols that are often found on the sole.